Seven Spring Memories

The first of seven memories goes to all those years of Good News Club lessons. Seven years is the time frame that Jacob waited for Rachel. His father in law tricked him and gave him Leah instead. “Leah was eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. (ESV)”. Jacob could not live without his love, so he worked another seven years for Rachel. Then the battles began. The story is found in the book of Genesis chapter 29. Why on earth would I think of this story from Genesis first with the though of the number seven? Could not I first have though of the seven days of the week, from the Creation account? Could not I though of the seven years of famine? Could I not have thought of any other story of seven? Bother. Must i even now be reminded of my delicate eyes? Let’s move on, shall we…?

The second spring milestone has to do with this blog. Seven years ago I decided to write an online journal. Typing comes fairly easy for me. And much of my written blog is actually begun as spoken. Since this blog began, both of my daughters graduated college and are now married. My pets are still two dogs, a dozen outdoor cats, and an unstable pony. We now have three wonderful grand children by the same set of parents. And my hubby now drives to the city and into traffic for his job. We put up a geodesic dome greenhouse, and I am still currently occupied keeping up with the chores of home and garden.

The third memory is from late spring and the busy-ness of the season. My daughter’s 10-year class reunion occurs this summer. Somehow I missed my first daughters’ tenth year out. Home school means a quiet family reunion of some sort should be planned. The graduation event ten years prior was not quiet. We filled the acreage with vehicles, family, friends, relatives, neighbors, music acquaintances, and the like came to celebrate. Of course for me the event was overshadowed with the loss of my driving license. My eyesight had deteriorated to the point of full peripheral blindness. Declaring legal blindness was not a public announcement likeour daughters choice of universities.

The fourth spring memory is both sad and glad. The first day of Spring always reminds me of our beloved family pet Furbie. It was on that date that we let him go the way of the earth. Though that might be hard thoughts and once upon a time I though I would never stop crying. Today we remember him with much fondness. He had such a large personality for such a little 22 pound body!

The fifth memory is a collection of thoughts. The revolving pet door has continued. We had a bad experience along the way that is that “unmentionable” name. And I made an error in personal judgement giving up my self-trained guide dog. Nevertheless the dogs and cats continue to coexist and Coca has outlived them all. Someone suggested that I get a “guide” horse. But really choosing one of the animals that I am most allergic to seems unrealistic. Just to have his hooves trimmed by the farrier requires every allergy medicine that I can take to avoid a disaster health wise. To me there is nothing fairy like about a farrier!

The sixth memory is one that we are making right now! Today my work in the greenhouse had some companion time. The two of them did share the bed for a bit. Tabitha was determined to bother Eva’s poor pig ear. I imagine that it should be removed or at least looked at once again. But at 13 years, I loathe to spend more money on her. I filled up the growing spaces with more plants. So the healing feline was well behaved. She has not even attempted to escape the dome. I think she rather prefers being “indoors.”

And finally the seventh memory. Brings me back to this writing thing. The site wants me to focus on the quantity of followers. But for me it is more about the journal itself. Looking back keeps the mind alert. Looking forward fills the heart with hope. Looking at each day gives one perspective and purpose. So seven years came and went pretty fast. My fourth year was the best in readership so far. I have not really focused on an exact memoire yet. And this week, it took me four days of 2-4 hours each day just to clean up and feed the gallon plus size geraniums in the greenhouse. They use to make me sneeze something awful. Especially when we used to stay at my mother’s house and she had then on every window sill and basement window-well in the house! Times have changedk, have they not?

A new home for Tabitha

Living on the family homestead has meant many domestic cats have found their home here. From the days when the kids were around to tame the four legged critters, things have not changed too much. The last ten years the names have revolved much like the population. Thank goodness our numbers have always stayed below a dozen. Maybe it is because the scoop we use for food holds just enough to feed nine or ten cats. However, the wild tomcat migration often catches unawares and spring means a new set of kittens now and again.

Some of our neighbors are into trapping and keeping their brood down to a handful. I’m wondering if that would have saved our expenses some. Nevertheless, this poor girl has a story of her own.

Tabitha came to our acreage a few years ago. We picked up five little kittens from a neighbor with different colorings then our boring black clan. The only other cat with different markings at the time was Autumn. And she had failed as an indoor cat, because she was so messy with her litter. I was a bit tired of the pebbles tracked all over the house. And our family has much cat allergy problems, so out she went. She was feisty enough to defend herself by then.

The following spring Autumn had some patchy colored kittens of whom three remain. It is a bit hard on the populous to live right next to a paved road. It lies 100 feet to the west. Some of the cats will cross the road to go hunt for years, while others don’t even make it the first year.

Tabitha, Boomerang, and Autumn all visited the vet for alteration at the same time. This assured that no one would get picked on for being different. That only worded for a year or so. Autumn is mean and tries to boss everyone around. Boomerang can hold her own and does not take much gruff. Tabitha is just too easy and kind. She has the sweetest personality and loves little kids. So when we began to notice abrasions on her body from the rough crowd, She won’t fight to stay at the food dish either.

A visit to the local vet confirmed our suspicions. She is just too nice. So after our return home, I decided now that the greenhouse is so full of plants, there really is nowhere for her to get into the grow beds. A few alterations to the environment were made. She slept well her first night there.

This morning I made one of the “cat hut” homes that are such a feline favorite. It only needs one door as there is no prey possibilities. She took right to her little house. A water dish, a food dish, and litter box are all in place. If I don’t see any activity in the litter I will have so make a smaller temporary “room” for her. There is just so many scratching options. Meanwhile, the plastic knives and hot pepper shaker found their way into all of the exposed soil areas. It has always worked outdoors so I am hopeful she is a fast learner.

Tabitha has a new home for now. We considered finding her a new permanent home, but she really does need some time to heal. I may even clip those nails so she is not scratching her own coat as it heals. She would be the second “gentle” kitty to be re-homed to an indoor lifestyle. The first was Sugar. She also was too gentle for the farm. A new home for Tabitha is accomplished for the moment.

This past week, I found a short poem on gardening that really made me smile. “Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, Or you can grow weeds.” Indeed, many people just don’t even try to cultivate the mind anymore. In this society of anything goes, they just let things happen, and don’t even try to be the master of their own thoughts. I do hope that inviting this little girl into the garden dome does not prove to be a disaster. Cats and garden just don’t mix real well usually.

Talking about love, love, love

My temperature blanket is finally taking shape! The idea sown last January is coming to fruition. Each month is represented by one square. The chosen colors are based on the temperature high and low for the month. Then the set of seasons are put together with the rising and falling temperature. Each season is put together by the weather that becomes them.

The whole blanket may or may not have a border. That has not been decided yet by the amount of left over yarn from the original skeins of color. I am excited to have cold enough weather to actually continue this project.

Talking about the weather is pretty much what begins every conversation in my life here in the Dakotas. The wind, the cold, the sunshine or the lack of moisture proceeds all other topics. While some people are oblivious to the weather, some of us have pets that require attention outdoors rain or shine.

Those people that show up at the day job in shorts and end up having to go home at break to change…. I don’t understand them. Every day of my life is decided by what the weather is today or tonight. The temperature tells me just what to wear. How to dress in this blustery unforgiving windy cold is very important if I want to feel my fingers the rest of the morning!

Well that’s enough about the weather, Now, How are you? The next topic of conversations might just involve who suffers from the most pain , you or the person you are talking to…. But even that is not a conversation that will last real long.

What is new? Yep, that the next headline. In my life it usually means some flower that is blooming. Here are some examples below. The Holiday cactus has decided the holidays should begin a week earlier this year. I forgot that by painting the living room and hallway, the cycle would be sped up nearly one week. The poor plant sat in the library for nearly five days before it returned to its prominent location in the south front window. The canna in the greenhouse finally recovered from it’s move to the indoor location. And these beautiful winter bloom begonias were a recent find at wally’s world.

This week we get back to the blanket and perhaps some Christmas ideas. I am not much of a crafter. The hot glue usually burns my fingers more than it sticks objects together. So minimal painting or such is my plan. Though giving plants is easier, not everyone want to take care of plant babies. Oh, and this next month will be full of plant seeding and seed starts! Oh, how spring shoots forth hope in my being. (Hope springs eternal?)

November is nearly to a close. We were blessed with sharing flowers to a few loved ones around Thanksgiving. And I found a gorgeous poinsettia to give to an elderly friend who turns 93 this week. Perhaps my passion for plants and flowers will help me spread a little holiday cheer this year!

Reason to Live (the final installment)

Finishing the CD review or renew or remembering

The last four years has been one of much change in our lives. The last three more so. Empty nesters is not a term that I like to use in my description of ourselves in the most recent past. After the girls off and left me, okay, really, they just got married and added numbers tot he family, right? Well, still redefining motherhood is nothing like descovering sainthood, that’s for sure.

So once the nest is empty, we soon find ways to fill the void. And for us it was a little 22 foot growing dome. Learning how to make things grow is a little different than watching kids grow and and become adults. But really much is the same. There are plant babies. Then little plants that leave the “next” and find new homes. And some get so stay and become tomorrows foddor.

Five years ago? It really does not seem real. Five years ago, I saw a video of this little geodesic dome greenhouse and wanted one so much that I cried. Now, plant babies leave very frequently and the empty nest never stays empty very long.

Having a “reason to live” means purpose and planning for one’s tomorrows. whether as in the song, the morrow is eternal or as in the greenhouse these seems to be forever a spring, purpose keeps life moving forward. I am so grateful for something TO DO!

Relatives of relatives and friends of friends are our connections throughout the circle of life. People help the world go-around. Looking at these connections through the “triangle” is easy for me. I know you. You know another person, and soon that other person then knows me. And just like that we are connected in a triangle of friendship.

This triangle of connecting one to another is key through our lives. It helps us to get where we are going, or perhaps we help another person get to the path in life that they lead. I am always fascinated by the connections that we have with a random person. My daughter once sat by someone on an airplane that was a shirt-tail relation. But they were only four people removed from knowing each other!

We used my daughter’s family connection to get the logo set up for Greenfield Greenhouse. It was so good to put a bit of “finality” or maybe a seed of beginning to this five year incubation phase. It’s time to let the nest be a home to more plant babies. I hope the business side of this building does not get so overwhelming. But I am so excited to do some plant seed harvesting. More geranium baby production and to see how the overwintering building will do this next year.

And I am also glad to do the final installment of this CD remembering. 1998 seems like such a very long time ago when the music was all created. I hope that the family that inspired this song has done well since then. I think of them often.

Once upon a summer

Writing on a blank slate is not something that today’s children even understand. Recently I watched a cheaply done movie about a young aritist and a young musician. They had many discussions about working with a purpose in mind. Purpose to them meant selling a message, or telling a message. Most of the movie was meant for a pre-teen audience with it’s focus on moral right and relationship building. The movies had a decent enough platform and did get the point across to question what we do on a daily basis as part of a larger purpose. A couple of time’s I though about the generation predecessor of the great war causes (like WWI and WWII).

Once upon a summer, I buried a pail of cherry pits in a hole, covered it with the dirt and this little tree emerged. I cannot recall whether this summer of ago was the pits but I do remember putting the pits in the hole. In fact, there were three others that produced a little tree. The cherry pits came from Great-Grandpa’s tree just outside our bedroom window.

How is it the summers become blurry in our memory? Summers with children and family are busy times. Summers are for vacations and going places. When the kids have gone and the spouse has a job we find our own ways to make summer busy. Even people who work, and garden, find summer crowded with activity

As a child the emptiness of summer was no problem. The fact that the daus go by ever too quickly and soon the vacation days are over made me long for afternoons. After school book diving became my pleasure. Today, I still find it easy to bury myself in the sands of a really good book. Days speed righ by when a good book is taking us out to another world.

Cherry picking and pitting time is a very busy time and a bit messy. This summer I’m hoping the cherries are right before we want to go on vacation. It seems that the two-day window for picking time lands on the wrong weekend every year. Last summer we got back to them too late. The red juiciness were drying on the tree already

With the windbreak all prepared for growing, we can focus on other things now. Like the garden’s weeds that went out of control. And there is a blank slate spot in the “east of the barn” area that needs to be planted yet. I have some flower packets, and more carrots to plant.

Imagination is the ability to create something out of nothing. I had fun playing pretend “drinking” with my grand daughter one afternoon. She ran to fetch me a drink of water from her play kitchen, only to have me declare that it was “juice” or “vinegar” or some other incredulous liquid besides water. The play went on for nearly a half an hour until she insisted that “apple juice” was better than water. I was finally satisfied with my drink and said “Oh, thank you!”d

The enjoyment of imagination can turn the wrong direction quickly. Like this morning when I was up on in the dark barn to take this picture, and something was hissing at me. Pretty sure it was a possum. I don’t any cats that hiss at me. Well, I managed to take my picture, and then skedaddled back down the stairs.

So, how does your imagination work for you? Do you take a skein of yarn and make something band new? Do you enjoy gardening and watching thins grow? How about those dark places where things make noises at you? Why don’t you take a blank slate and create something enjoyable today!

Another update

Okay now I really don’t like my word press blog site. They updated it again! AND I really hate change. The whole look and the way I want to write has been changed. So, yep I once again am completely hampered by the change.

This block editing is totally not my style. Not sure that I have a style, but this is definitely not it. I think of myself as a semi-professional writer. Maybe I am an amuteur at web paging, but writing is something I am suppose to enjoy. Insert emoji loudly screaming baby face!!!

So along with this unwelcome change, life moves on. April showers were non-existent but May flowers are still blooming. There has been some rain in the last week enough to chase the drought away. But if you dig down six inches in our garden, the soil is dry. Somehow the corn is up about 10 miles to the south of us.

We are in the middle of “Birthday Month.” And so that is keeping us busy with celebrations. It seems that in our family the spring really sprung! From March through June there are equal birthday numbers to the Octoberfest that slides into November.

Meanwhile, I hope that at some point I can get my blog set up back to what it was. (The change is permanent, so I have read.) I can’t even find how to add photos to the blog. My husband had to poke around for me and show me what to do. Nobody quite comprehends what screen changes do to someone with Retinitis Pigmentosia. Once that little curser runs away, there’s no hope of finding it again. The icon changes, and the like… well, I ought to quit my belly-aching and just write.

I am pretty excited about my upcoming logo design. I made a few contacts but so far no one has answered me. So I am patiently or not so patiently waiting. In a lot of ways, I feel like these three ladies in waiting. Haha.

Next time you see these two images, I hope to have the logo on the creamers at the greenhouse. They will sit in the rocks of the landscaping. The dairy cans are waiting for another coat of colored paint, but the weather has not been cooperating. I have the flowers for the top of them already also. Keeping them growing in the greenhouse has been enjoyable. I am aslo trying to figure out how to make the cans a bit more self-watering. They are so tall the bottom half does not even get used as a potting soil source. I will be filling them with riverrock.

Meanwhile… The garden has been all mapped out with the seedling plants in the greenhouse included in the key. There will be treasures galore as the summer comes on! I was also blessed to supply the Mother’s day plants to our church. The baby geraniums did very well. Of course those statrted in november did better than the February shoots. And I have some for myself that are taking their own sweet time at rooting out.

Well, there is my update. I am also putting together a song that I wrote based on Psalm 36. The melody is so catchy. I am always humming it.

The latest greenhouse project was the dinner-plate arrangements. Parsley, oregano, cilantro, chives, and basil work just as well in the planter as they do in the pantry. It’s crazy how seeds planted at the same time grow at different paces. It feels much like walking completely different dogs!

These pretty little geranium babies all found new homes on Mother’s Day. It was such a blessing to give them away. I only had a few left overs. Those are finding new homes this week as the days roll by. Soon the rest of the plant babies will all head out to the garden. The greenhouse will have to get it’s shade cloth on for the summer, so that everything does not get scorched from the heat. Judging the water needs is hard to do when there are so many different size planters and pots.

Yesterday’s tether

An asthma journal entry

When pain follows better than my shadow, the ibuprofen bottle takes a hit. I use to take one naproxime sodium every day. Then I decided to reduce all of my medications and find out what I was truly allergic to. That cost about $3,000. Thankfully we have insurance. But I am not allergic to money. If that grew on trees, it would be much better than whatever is budding right now. Between that and grass season, I may have to make some changes around here. Another week and the sneeze and wheeze will be history for a time again!

My asthma is doing much better after I found out malted milk shakes and white potato french fries were on my “no-no” list. Eating out is somewhat easier. Chocolate syrup will just have to be on it’s own in the milk from now on. Until the trees broke out in “bloom” song, my astham was at bay. Until… And to top it off, we had a bit of that badly needed moisture move through.

It just moved through. I’m not sure there was much rain in the clapping clouds. Enough to get my asthma going in the night though. Not enough for the dry land in our neck of the woods.

Yesterday has a tether on my tomorrow.

Today I am feeling the pain from too much yesterday. Anyone else get what that means? No, I do not mean that life is long. It is this “muchness” that often pulls us down. Gravity has a very downward effect. It’s that binge exercise plan that gets me every time.

How do we take the day after slower than the day before? Slowing down is just simply what comes of age, right? Yet it is not really age that makes us slow, it’s what happened the day before. Yesterday’s tether has a very long lead line into my tomorrow. Some people have arthritis. Some people have old injuries. Some people have disease. Some of us just did more than we should have. It’s that extra step that was the do-zie! Thus the slowing is much like a tether on the tomorrow.

Tethering tomorrow.

I found a leash that was still good and tied a loop in the middle. That way dog walking involves a tether. Eva is not so sure about being on the outside. But Honey gets to be the lead dog and take us both for a walk. Sometimes shopping for me is much like a tethering process. Going out and about these days with a mask on adds to the hampering of eyesights. My husband said that a few people at work had accidents the first month or so while mask wearing. With my tunnel vision, putting another barrier in the visual field makes things worse. I simply prefer not to shop. Never really liked it anyways.

Going shopping with little kids, a blind mother, and studying a phone app sounds like a recipe for disaster. Try giving a toddler a tiny basketball to hold on too. This photo opportunity was taken while I enjoyed the little gripping hands and plump little fingers holding on tight.It just seemed like the ball should have a tether on it. But it made for an interesting spectacle to see my daughter chasing after the the little round object, when shopping was the real object . This is one of my favorite pictures from the past month. I could not resist sharing it.

How does asthma feel? Asked the doctor who did not have such. And another doctor said that’s not asthma, you don’t have pain with asthma. How does he know? Once upon a time there was a television commercial that gave a little kids description of the feeling. “Like a fish out of water.” Asthma literally is oxygen deprivation. That doctor has never ran right after lunch with all of his might and then thrown up. I think that would hurt.

The first thing that tells me that I have asthma is the feeling that I just want to sleep. So I go to bed early. My heart begins to skip beats. These palpitations are not calves skipping in happiness through the spring grass. It usually catches me off guard, and then I feel nauseous or angry. (Ask anyone married to a person with a bad heart, and they will tell you their spouse gets angry without reason.). Because I want to control my fits of rage, I also want to just got to bed and leave people where they are. (If you wear strong perfume and I choose not to visit and act like I am trying to escape- it is the perfume, not you.)

Now that I have gone to bed and not taken care of the oxygen loss, the sleep hallucinations begin. Maybe they are dreams? Or maybe they are night mares. Many times the dreams are about people I have not seen in ages. So it is kind of like dreaming about the banquet hall in Heaven. Last night I saw Stene and Gladys from our home church in Minnesota. Wow! Do I ever miss their wit and wisdom. It was so exciting to see them.

Then this massive migraine hit me in the back of the head. I woke up from the feeling that my head was being used as a slam dunk object. Yeah, it hurts. I was hot or flushed much of the night, Using my inhaler there by the bed did not seem to help. I rose several times in the feeling of panic, sucking in air, and then downing cold water. That did not help much either.

Hiding under the covers all day is not really an adult option. Though I know some adults who do that. Getting up means the day has arrived. Yesterday is officially over. I am not tethered to the post at the head of the bed. Sometimes we have to do that to the dog. She does not have much “stick-to-it” with her bed at night. The wandering and the loud thump is just too distubing for a decent night’s slepp.

Never the less, the oxygen depraved migraine did not work to remind me that asthma was calling my name. There was no “lazarus come forth” moment for me. It was a phone call. The sound of my husband’s ring tone barking at me drove me out of my banqueting hall visit with all of the special people of faith that I long to see.

So today, I long for glory-land. It might be a “Gaither” kind of listening day. The Statler Brothers are another old hymn sing favorite. No death is not romantic. Death during sleep is not a wish most people receive. I am not making light of this past year when I talk about this. Falling asleep and rising up on the other side of “Joran” is not just a beautiful song that people sing about. But the asthma does bring on a lot more though about the sweet by and by than my husband wants to hear.

Asthma kind of takes the fight out of life. Asthma takes the fun out of life. Asthma takes good nights rest with it too. Asthma steals my joy for spring. Asthma takes me back to the house right after I go for a walk. Asthma sucks the air out of me bit by little bit.

Asthma is only one part of my life. It is not all of my life. Asthma is not really the enemy. Some days it sure seems that way.

And if you are a doctor that never ran until you collapsed and lost you stomach’s contents on the beach like Jonah’s whale… Well, I have news for you. Asthma hurts. And sometimes it is that little nagging nausea that tells me I better get some help or dizziness and darkness might win the race.

James 4:14 “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow, For what is you life/. It is just a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

10,950 days

And What of the Nights, my Love?

Every day, Every hour, How do we count the ways?

Only one love for me, but all 12 months, all 52 weeks and all 365 days for the past 31 years, I have been his, and he has been mine.

All twelve month squares are done for my temperature blanket. I started putting them together, and then we went to the eye doctor. I left my readers to get new lens, and unfortunately the lab broke my frames. I am kind of grumpy about the whole thing. I had that gut feeling that I should just buy new frames since mine were three years old. But my mother has had the same frames for the past 10 years. Surely, mine were not very old. Ugly thoughts. But I will keep my writing sane.

How do I count the days, my Dear? And what of the nights, my Love? We will never tell, my Sweetheart. We will never tell.

Am I to consult the stars? Or the sand? Could I count the raindrops? How can I tell others how much I love thee? Shall the hours apart take you from my heart?

Oh, my love, my one and only ever love

The fifth song on the CD is dedicated to my Only Love. Written during the poetic year of engagement, it is the melodic theme of our romance. How do I talk about the one who holds such sway on my being?

Ten thousand nine hundred and fifty days of wedded bliss will soon be ours. I though 25 was a special year. Maybe for the significance of our children going off into the sanctimony themselves, but thirty? How do you some up thirty years with no less words than the days we have spent together? It seems so impossible.

Think of holding hands for nearly 31 years. The first date ended in the hours of darkness. The advantage of blindness meant holding hands on the very first date. It’s like we never let go.

Once upon a time, my first daughter was in conversation with one of her elder professors at college. He attested to the fact that her parents were so cute always holding hands. She stated in matter of factness, “Well, it’s because my mom is blind.” The gentleman protested her bluntness. She continued in factual manner. “No it’s true. She can’t see in the peripheral, so he holds her hand., That saves her from getting lost.” Honestly, my husband would rather she replied, “Oh, but he rather likes holding her hand.”

Nah, kids will be kids. They never look at the romance involved with their parents. Until their time comes, romance is disgusting. Holding hands does keep me from tripping, or otherwise loosing my way!

This is why we don’t marry our brothers. One time I went to a hospital visit with my brother to see my uncle. At one point in the maze of hospital halls there was a split. I went one way and my brother went the other. He was not into holding my hand I guess. He did come back to get me though. At a later date, I was with my youngest brother to the zoo with his family. He had no problem holding my hand. I was very grateful for the face saving gesture. And there have been a couple of times at night that my son-in-law has had to grab my hand to keep me from finding a pole in the dark of the night. Thanks! But all the same, I rather like having my husband help me.

How can you remove the cream from the coffee? Especially after the beverage has already been processed? Once the black turns cafe latte, it is not going back. Creamed soda could never return to its seltzer water and syrup. Once the two have blended they are unchangeable, completely integrated and the fizz though it return to air, cannot take with it the taste. Thoughts of the worst soda ever that I tasted remains in my memory. One of the children’s medicine bottle, the bitterness of illness and happiness of recovery exist altogether as one.

Here are the first three months of the year in a quilt strip. January, February and March are put together with a mosaic triangle pattern. I decided to use a more contrasting color scheme because the ones close in ….. are hard to see. Making it easy on the eyes makes the project fun rather than a chore.

March is nearly half past. Like an hour at thirty minutes, it seems the time goes by too quickly. The herbs are up. And some are ready to go into the next size pot. Some were a fail and needed to be resown. Today is St. Patrick’s Day. It seems a good time of year to sow something green! So I will probably spread some more grass seed out in the dry patches from last fall.

Recently, my second daughter purposely misquoted a familiar statement.

“Spice is the variety of life!”

I decided that it is probably a better motto than the real quote. Sometimes it feels like life is so full, you can hardly stand up. Other times, life feels incomplete and missing much. While considering this song on the CD I decided that one other little story ought to be told.

When we were still in our honeymoon phase, our kitchen spice cabinet had five spices. Salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and cinnamon. I really had not had my own kitchen up until that point, so spice variety was not something that I knew. My mother-in-law laughed at me to see such a simple palette of spices. Now, years later, I have more spices that she does. And much of what I cook with regularly, I grow. I cannot imagine cooking without parsley, oregano, cilantro, or marjoram. And the benefits of cumin, turmeric, and ginger are not lost on my cooking. And who would have though that nutmeg goes in meats?

Anyways, spice is the variety of life! And Spice must surely add variety into our lives. Even though we do not cook meals as often as we use to, spices are still a big part of our kitchen experience. It is pretty difficult to remove too much pepper out of the meatballs also. That day was a migraine day for me and who would expect a six year old to read the recipe properly. My husband was the lifesaver once again and took us to the drive inn for hotdogs that night. The many experiences that we learned from in life keep us together.

I am so glad that the rough patches were just a little sandpaper to smooth the surfaces. The many woodworking projects that we have done through the years have taught me that also. Not only have we done life together, we enjoy it. You can’t compress 30 years into one blog any more that one tree with all of its memories can be just a wooden table. That project is still waiting to be completed.

So now you know. We enjoy being married. We recommend it. And 10,950 days went by so fast that it seems like only just yesterday we were posing out behind the church for our pictures! We smiled so much that day that our cheeks muscles hurt. Haha!

Hobbling the Hobby Horse

The vocational calling is a magnetic pull towards a specific course of action that is believed to be be of Divine design. Most people consider calling in relation to the ministry or medical field. Few consider what they do everyday to be a “calling.”

The fourth song on my CD Are You Ready is titled “Dear Lord, You Have Called Me.” This calling was in the nature of being. Called to BE and called to DO are entirely different callings. Yet who we are and what we do could not be more intertwined than when someone is a believer.

The first twenty years began with bustling pitter patter of feet through the house. whether the noise of children or pets, life alternated between hectic and peace. The last nine years were rather still. Being still and Doing still nothing is entirely different also. It is during the stillness that we find out most what we are made of… And quite often I find myself lacking.

Searching for a new vocation found me unsuccessful. My wanderings of late led me to a new author. She put it this way, “Novels are written out of the shortcomings of history” -Penelope Fitzgerald. The fact that she came to her career as a writer later in life is not lost on me. I find it very hopeful.

Fitzgerald’s life is full of mishap, adventure, and difficult life circumstances. Her belief in the underlying strength of women buoy’s me up. These days of the “fool’s spring” have me in quite the state of perpetual allergy induced asthma. When I should be out finally enjoying the balmy weather, I find myself indoors sucking on the nebulizer pipe. And taking up smoking is the last thing I have on my mind. Penelope Fitzgerald also suffered from asthma and COPD later in life. The fact that she pushed forward with her writing is very inspiring.

During my youth I was quite the bookworm in the family. The calling from my mother to come and help with the supper preparations often found me buried in pages. One time in particular, my mother called me from the bottom of the stairs to fetch the potatoes in the cellar. Yes, we had one of those. With a pine box full of sand, carrots, and potatoes and shelves lined with jars of preserves, we braved the damp, dark hole in search of the daily sustenance. This day in particular involved a hasty response, a slip of the hand across the banister pole, and a crash through the window at the landing. The stairs make an about face which I neglected. My mother’s voice still ringing in my ears, was now clouded with the sound of broken glass. She returned to her post at the bottom of the stairs to find that I was unharmed. The window, however, would need to be replaced.

This hasty response whilst in the midst of my reading was probably delayed by the “finishing of the paragraph.” Who would stop mid-sentence? My feet could not make up the time lost in the book. Sometimes, I feel like my whole spiritual journey can be summed up in that instance.

Indoor gardening began in middle January. This little lavender sprout is now one month above ground. I was successful at nine seeds. Not really sure how many I put in the soil. Touching them is the best aroma therapy. The greenhouse is is ready for spring planting. and the greanium planters number over 50! Flowers are abundant year round in my life.

For nine years now, life seems a tug of war between doing and being. The parenting years come and go so quickly. For just a brief moment in time we are gifted with little souls to teach being and doing as Christ ought. Then the birds leave the nest and mothering seems completed. Is it ever really complete? Now as a distant cheerleading section, the sidelines are ever so quiet. The calling to motherhood is such a blessing.

What am I to do now?

I face that question frequently. From my place in the library surrounded by the books that made us, I wonder what am I to do now? Being a wife, a mother of grown children, an Oma to my grandchildren, why does my heart yearn for something more? I want to do and be more than a pet parent, a gardener, a crocheter, or a prayer warrior. Why am I so unsatisfied with my life now?

Is this discontentment at it’s ugliest outcropping? Have the weeds of this world taken over the garden of my mind?

Crochet. Here are the first six suqres for my temperature quilt afghan. I am getting so excited about the project. Doing all of the strips in season will be next. Then the strips in between the seasons. I will be doing the months in intervals of three. So these are Jan-Feb-Mar and Apr-May-Jun. I still have my “crojo” on the plan so that is good.

Writing…

Writing my thoughts is part of my self preservation. If thoughts are not written they will blow away in the breeze. If self-analysis does not involve writing, then how can conclusions be made? Am I stuck being me and doing written self-analytical jottings just for me?

The fourth song on the CD is more about being than doing. It is in my doing that I discover my lowly ME will never measure up to God’s calling. “Be Holy” is impossible without Christ living through me. Some people love to sign off their writing with “In His Grip” but do they really understand what being in the mighty hand of God means? Sometimes it means that we are last years zinnia blossoms and He is crushing the dried blossom so that He can bury the resulting seeds under some soil and have new bushes.

I Peter 5:7. “Therefore humble yourselves under the might hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.”

“Dear Lord, You have called me. Called me to be, to be holy. You have called me, called me to be, to be yours only. You must know what You are doing, to have made me so lowly. You have called me so I ask that You would make me Yours only.” -Yvonne Annette 1998

Here I have added July-August-September. And while taking a break from this blog, I completed October. Only two left. Stay tuned for the finished project. Mosaic crochet is my newest hobby.

My avocational hobbies have turned into my full time contemplations. Hobbies are often hobbled like a little pony in need of discipline. Much of my hobbled hobbies comes from the fact that my visual capacities are failing. Dwelling on the past hobbled hobbies could bring me much grief. And for nine years, trying to discover what I can still do is often lassoed by my failing eyesight. These moments will probably continue to cause me pain and humble me to a lowly state. Learning from my disability requires being humble as well as doing with aids and help. Tools are not always as readily useful and letting go of doing is never easy. Physical ailment and the gradual decline of the body is part of living. Every day we die a little bit.